Should I celebrate Tet Eve 2024 indoors or outdoors?

When should the New Year's Eve ceremony for Tet 2024 be held, indoors or outdoors? Listen to the advice of experts to have a fulfilling and abundant year.

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New Year’s Eve is an important moment for Vietnamese people as it marks the transition from the old year to the new year. Vietnamese people have a tradition of worshiping on New Year’s Eve, bidding farewell to the old year and wishing for a peaceful and happy new year for every household. So, when should we perform the New Year’s Eve worship for Tet 2024, inside or outside the house? Let’s listen to the shares of experts to have a more fulfilling and abundant year.

Meaning of New Year’s Eve worship

New Year’s Eve worship is a tradition of the Vietnamese people since ancient times, but the way this ritual is performed in the Northern, Central, and Southern regions has many differences.

Every year, at the moment between the old and the new year, there is a ritual to remove all the bad things of the past year to welcome the good things of the upcoming year. This ritual is called “truc tich” and is often performed on New Year’s Eve.

According to the traditional customs, New Year’s Eve worship is held to welcome the Twelve Constellations (12 ruling Guardians). At that time, they are patrolling under the lower realm and are in a rush, unable to enter the house, so the worship table is usually placed outside the main door of each house. At the end of the year, the previous ruling Guardian has managed the lower realm in the past year and will pass on the task to the new ruling Guardian for the new year.

The worship table is arranged with sincerity to bid farewell to the heavenly family who has managed oneself in the previous year and to welcome the new arrival who will take on the task of managing the lower realm in the coming year.

Due to the handover of work, the takeover of new tasks taking place in an urgent atmosphere, the deities can only eat in a hurry or just witness the sincere heart of the homeowners.

Therefore, on New Year’s Day, every family’s ancestral altar must always have incense, oil lamps, and two candles lit.

When should New Year’s Eve worship be performed?

Usually, people worship on New Year’s Eve at midnight, which is the moment of transition from the old year to the new year and an occasion to bid farewell to the gods of the old year and welcome the gods of the new year.

Should New Year’s Eve worship be performed inside or outside?

According to Feng Shui experts, the outdoor ceremony should be done first to welcome the new ruling Guardians and bid farewell to the old ruling Guardians.

After completing the outdoor ceremony, the homeowners will proceed with the New Year’s Eve worship inside the house. When the worship table for the ancestors is fully arranged, the candles are lit, and incense is burned to sincerely pray.

According to the customs of the Vietnamese people since ancient times, every household performs both the outdoor and indoor ceremonies meticulously to welcome the visitors who bring fortune into the house.

The worship altar for New Year’s Eve inside and outside the house

The worship altar for New Year’s Eve can be a salt offering or a vegetarian offering depending on the conditions and beliefs of each family. The usual ritual offerings include:

+ Outdoor ceremony: A five-fruit tray, flowers, oil lamps, betel leaves, salt, rice, tea, alcohol, clothes and hats for the deities, boiled rooster, sticky rice cakes, boiled pig’s head, three large incense sticks,…

+ Indoor ceremony: Similar to the outdoor ceremony and some other dishes according to the needs and conditions of each family, except for the clothes and hats for the deities.

Currently, the worship altars have become simpler. Depending on the taste and conditions of the family, the homeowner can prepare a fully or partially set altar. These offerings need to be prepared before New Year’s Eve. They are placed on the table and should never be placed on the ground or taken out at the moment of New Year’s Eve.

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Frequently asked questions

It depends on your preferences and circumstances. Celebrating Tết Eve outdoors can be a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, with vibrant fireworks displays, lively countdowns, and cultural performances. However, indoor celebrations offer comfort, intimacy, and protection from unpredictable weather or large crowds.

Outdoor celebrations allow you to fully experience the excitement and energy of Tết Eve. You can enjoy spectacular fireworks displays, join in countdown events, and participate in cultural traditions and performances that are often held in public spaces. The outdoor setting also provides a chance to meet new people, socialize, and share the joy of the holiday with others.

Indoor celebrations offer a cozy and intimate atmosphere, especially if you’re surrounded by loved ones. You can decorate your home with festive decorations, prepare and share traditional Tết dishes, and play games or watch holiday specials on television. Celebrating indoors also shields you from potential inclement weather and provides a more relaxed and comfortable environment.

There are many ways to make your indoor celebration memorable. Decorate your home with traditional Tết flowers, such as peach blossoms and kumquat trees, to create a festive ambiance. Prepare and enjoy a feast of traditional Tết dishes, such as bánh chưng, pickled onions, and mứt Tết. Play traditional games like bầu cua tôm cá or card games. Watch holiday-themed movies or television specials with your family and friends. You can also set up a small altar to honor your ancestors and pay respect to your cultural heritage.

Outdoor activities for Tết Eve vary depending on your location. You can attend public countdown events, often held in parks or city centers, to welcome the new year together with others. Enjoy fireworks displays, which are a highlight of Tết Eve celebrations. Visit temples or pagodas to pray for a prosperous and healthy new year. Participate in cultural performances, parades, or traditional folk games that are often organized during this time.